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Clashing worldviews: Sources of disappointment in rural hospitality and tourism development

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Hospitality and tourism have been advocated as tools for rural development, but they have often failed to achieve what was expected. Some failures may be due to the clash between development planners' worldviews and those of rural residents. This effect is demonstrated in a five-year study of a community in Portugal. Planners focus on economic growth, seek returns from enlarged tourism scope, expect benefits to trickle down, and see hospitality and tourism development in its national and regional context. Consequently, they push policies even in the absence of local support, favour return migrants as partners and are frustrated when local support is not forthcoming. Locals are skeptical about the growth enabled by hospitality and tourism, and fear that growth could threaten social equity. Consequently, they may distrust planners, feel the need to criticize hospitality and tourism plans, act in ways that thwart those plans and fail to capitalize on opportunities. The resulting clash deflects hospitality and tourism development from reaching its goals. Community-based planning and applied ethnography could help planners circumvent the clash in worldviews, and implement rural hospitality and tourism projects more effectively.
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Keywords: community development; culture; economic development; hospitality; rural development; social forces; tourism

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: University of Illinois 2: LitUp Training Solutions

Publication date: 2012-08-08

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  • Hospitality & Society is an international multidisciplinary social sciences journal focusing upon hospitality and exploring its connections with wider social and cultural processes and structures. The journal welcomes submissions from various disciplines and aims to be an interactive forum expanding frontiers of knowledge and contributing to the literature on hospitality social science. Articles that stimulate debate, discussion and exchange across disciplines are welcomed, as well as review essays or short topical pieces that are provocative and problematic in nature.
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